This month we speak to the newest LGMA (SA) board member, Kerry Loughhead from the City of Prospect.
Hi Kerry - What’s your current role, and how long have you been doing it? What was your previous role?
I'm the Manager Governance and Administration at the City of Prospect, which includes responsibility for governance, customer service, HR, Information Management (records management and an IT resource). It also includes EA to the Mayor. I am also doing 5 days per fortnight as Acting Manager Governance at City of Unley on a short term basis until they find cover for Victoria McKirdy's maternity leave.
My previous role was Manager Governance which also included EA to the Mayor. (This was also at Prospect).
When did you decide to get involved with Local Government? What attracted you to the sector?
I was originally approached by a recruitment firm to apply for the position of EA to the CEO and Mayor at City of Prospect. I was on a long term temp contract at the time at the SAMFS (South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service), and thought it sounded interesting enough as it was 5 minutes from home! To be honest I had never thought about working for local government until then.
What do you love about your role, and working for a council generally?
I really like the career opportunities that LG can provide. Although I have only worked at Prospect (until the recent secondment to Unley) my role has changed considerably. I can credit this mainly due to having two very different but dynamic CEOs during my time at Prospect, and two very different but very committed Mayors, that have allowed me to get involved and take on new challenges.
What would you be doing if it wasn’t working in local government?
I know this questions means what work I would be doing, but I can't get past "Travelling the world". I love to get out and see the world, taste the food and wine, and generally soak up the different cultures.
What are you “famous” for at Prospect?
Going on holidays or saying "What section of the Act does that relate to?"
Do you have an embarrassing moment in your work life that you are willing to share?
I believe the embarrassing moment will be in a couple of weeks time when I participate in the inter council sports day, in the City of Prospect netball team. It seemed like a good idea to sign up a couple of months ago, but as the date looms, the realization that I have not played for many (many!) years is starting to become all too clear!
What advice would you have for others seeking to get involved in local government?
Just as the question says...."get involved". (See netball comment above!) It can be just a job if you let it, but it can also offer so much more. There are plenty of training and professional development opportunities available through the LGMA and LGA, and the LGMA Management Challenge is a terrific opportunity to network, learn, challenge yourself, and just be a part of something bigger than your own Council.